Thursday, May 05, 2005

Developing a Law Firm Taxonomy

Canadian law librarian blogger Connie Crosby refers to an article in Modern Law on Findlaw "Developing a Global Law Firm Taxonomy, Inside-Out" by Jason Marty.

"In the course of our project, we had the opportunity to speak with and read about other firms that have attempted similar taxonomy projects, usually as part of a global knowledge management initiative. We were impressed with some of the successes at other firms, and paid equal attention to problems they have encountered. We were interested to note that for some firms, the difficulties a global taxonomy project entails are causing them to focus more energy on other aspects of content management - search, information architecture and workflow".

"A global law firm taxonomy though, if accepted and adopted, can provide tremendous benefits to working lawyers, not only by helping them find needed content, but also by helping organize activities and content development efforts. The following is a comparison of two approaches-what our Firm terms as 'Outside-In' and 'Inside-Out', and an argument that developing a global law firm taxonomy from the 'Inside-Out' is more likely to produce a taxonomy that works well for the lawyers in a global firm."

Some of the lessons learned at the firm of Baker & McKenzie, whose experiences the article describes, include:
  • Start with groups who must or wish to work together
  • Develop the taxonomy with the lawyers
  • Establish basic principles and guidelines
  • Adjust as you go
  • The project does not end

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:25 pm


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